Massachusetts SJC Rejects Release Of Inmate Over Covid Concerns


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Massachusetts Supreme Court has denied a request from an inmate to be released because of his risk of contracting Covid-19.

Ronnie Harris was convicted of second degree murder in 1975 and later filed a motion for a new trial in 2019, which was denied. He appealed the decision right before the pandemic, which is still currently pending.

His attorney argued before the court that Harris should be released from prison in the meantime, because his age and medical condition places him at a heightened risk of contracting a severe case of Covid-19.

The SJC denied the request, writing that although the virus is "serious and extraordinary," the pandemic alone "does not constitute an exceptional circumstance."

The ruling went on to say that if the court did agree that Covid-19 posed an exceptional circumstance for release, it would "invite every prisoner in the Commonwealth" to make the same request.

WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports.

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Written by Rachel Armany

(Photo: Getty Images)


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